Scientists are trying to create a robot with a consciousness 'on par with a human'

Charisa Bossinakis

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Scientists are trying to create a robot with a consciousness 'on par with a human'

Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox. Johan Swanepoel / Alamy Stock Photo

Scientists have revealed they are currently developing a robot that has a consciousness that's 'on par' with humans.

Life as we know it is set for a reboot.

While ‘consciousness’ in robots has been inconceivable for quite some time, researchers​​ at Columbia University say this could be the next scientific breakthrough for humankind.

Currently, a robot prototype is being developed by doctoral student Yuhang Hu and her team in the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University.

Credit: P.Spiro / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: P.Spiro / Alamy Stock Photo

For the first time ever, they’re tinkering with machinery designed to be self-aware.

Mechanical engineer who directs the Creative Machines Lab, Hod Lipson, told The New York Times that his team would finally answer the question regarding what revolutionized AI would look like

“This is not just another research question that we’re working on — this is the question,” he told the outlet.

“This is bigger than curing cancer.

"If we can create a machine that will have consciousness on par with a human, this will eclipse everything else we’ve done. That machine itself can cure cancer.”

While he admits the C-word (consciousness - get your heads out of the gutter) was mostly ‘forbidden’ from being talked about in the science community, Lipson noted that the more humans become reliant on robots, the more they had to be ‘resilient’.

Credit: Kittipong Jirasukhanont / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Kittipong Jirasukhanont / Alamy Stock Photo

This was when he began considering the notion of self-aware humanoid robots.

However, the most significant challenge scientists are faced with is defining what the realms of consciousness are.

But Lipson subscribes to the notion that consciousness is related to ‘imagining yourself in the future’.

While machine-learning algorithms have limited robots in the past, a conscious robot would differ by constantly trying to improve itself as evolution would be its primary motive.

Yes, I’m sure we’re all getting flashes of M3GAN cartwheeling down the hall right about now.

While some have outlined the ethical concerns, Muhammad Wajahat Sultan said in an op-ed piece titled ‘Robots and Future’ that our quality of life will improve when humans and machines coexist.

He wrote: “With customized robots in the workplace, new jobs will be created, and existing jobs will be improved. In addition, people will have more time to focus on what they find interesting, meaningful, and exciting."

Lipson admitted to The New York Times that he wanted to push this next step ‘as far as he can'.

He added: “I want a robot to think about its body, to think about its plans.”

Topics: Technology, News, Science, Robotics

Charisa Bossinakis
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